Let's Photowalk

By Roger (13 September 2015)

Downtown Omaha

Yes, I missed the blog, last weekend. I was out in Nebraska, on a thunder run, to drop off a vehicle. (A thunder run just means we drove the 1,300 miles, with one quick stop.) Naturally, I had a camera and spent a late afternoon walking around, taking in the scenery and snapping a photo or two.

You know you should go out with your camera more often than you do. It's good to practice, and it's always nice to spend a couple of hours with folks who also enjoy making photographs. And the weather is, finally, cooling down, here in Virginia. It must be time for some photowalking.

Here are a couple of opportunities for you.

While we were out in Las Vegas, we met with the fine people at 500PX. They have a photowalk, sponsored with Fugifilm, on the weekend of 26 September, and asked me to run one of their walks. I didn't hear anything for a couple of weeks, but they contacted me, Monday. With just a little time to prepare, I picked an easy pleaser, in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Harpers Ferry signage

We've been to a couple walks here, and it's a great location. There is a good variety of photography subjects, with the history, landscape, old architecture, trains, and lots of people. We will meet at 9 a.m., at the Amtrak Station, on Saturday, 26 September. There are several really nice prizes, if you choose to enter their contest. The walk is free, of course, and you can sign up HERE.

This walk has some steps and a hill climb, but Thomas Jefferson said the view, alone, was worth a trans-Atlantic voyage. At least, that's what they claim on the plaque,  honoring his visit. We'll stop there, too, just to see if he was right.

Try your vintage processing

Try your vintage processing

Your second opportunity is the Kelby Worldwide Photowalk, on 3 October. Mark and I have been WWPW leaders for five years, now. We've always got it marked on our calendars as a must-attend event. This year, we're going back to Culpeper, VA.

Our Culpeper route is very easy walk, with no steep hills and lots to see. You've got another train station (I like trains!); a farmer's market; and the old town area, filled with people and history. We were in Culpeper for the WWPW in 2006. It's always nice to visit a location you haven't seen in a while.

We'll meet at 9 a.m., on Saturday, 3 October, at the Amtrak Station. We'll end at a nice pub, The Beer Hound Brewery. You can join us by signing up HERE. This walk is also free, but you must register.

So, get up off your couch, and come join us for both walks. Bring any camera you want to carry. Learn new skills. You'll have a great time.

Photowalk style is always casual

Thanksgiving Photos

Next week will be another Thanksgiving Holiday.  It is always my favorite time of the year.  Family and food with the opportunity to reflect on all the good things we get to enjoy. 

Sometimes we get in such a rush to stuff our faces with turkey and pumpkin pie that we don’t take the time to capture the moment with a few pictures.  Worse yet, sometimes the images we get, are flat and make the food look terrible—unless of course it is that jello and carrot salad thing, which is terrible.  For us, the preparation of the feast is as much fun as the results.  My cousin Bob and I debone the turkey based upon a Julia Child/Jacques Pepin special.  It is still on a working video tape, so we have to have a third party rewind and pause it so we can get all the steps.  Of course this requires us to speak in our best Julia Child voices.  Yes, laughter ensues.  Oh then, we stuff it and tie it back up like a giant sausage.  

It reduces the cooking time and makes serving it very, very easy   A little bit of bounce flash can add dimensionality to your guest of honor.  

Don’t forget the side dishes either, that is often where the color is. 

On an unrelated but equally important note, Roger and I realized we didn’t recognize the winner of our Harper’s Ferry Photowalk photo contest.  Although we didn’t get as many submissions as we had walkers, one of our walkers—in fact Rich Walker had the picture that our independent judging panel liked best. 

Harpers Ferry ruins--Photo by Rich Walker

Harpers Ferry ruins--Photo by Rich Walker

A very moody black and white, shot by the way with a pretty old camera.  Definitely reinforcing that you don’t require the latest and greatest gear to get great photos; a good eye and good technique and voila. 

Everyone travel safely and have a Happy Thanksgiving.


2014 Worldwide Photowalk Wrap-Up

By Roger (14 October 2014)

We had a great group at Harpers Ferry for our part of the Worldwide Photowalk on Saturday. Mark and I met lots of new photographers. So, I thought I'd give you a quick overview for those who are unsure what this photowalk thing is about and didn't sign up this year.

Weather is always a common excuse, and the weather-guessers weren't passing out optimistic forecasts. The rainy weather caused a couple of people to stay home, but the vast majority of our registered walkers showed up. For their effort, they were rewarded when the rain stopped 15 minutes before our scheduled walk. The rain stayed away for the entire walk. (Yay!)

We started out from the Amtrak station. It's a small and quaint, two-track depot. Everyone got to shoot some trains as they came rumbling through. I've been very interested, lately, in trying to get a few good train shots. I don't know where this interest comes from, since I'm a people photographer, but I think I'm going to put this on my 2015 list of projects.

My favorite train photo

My favorite train photo

When we took off, we found we were in for another treat. There was a special event in town that brought in a large group of Civil War re-enactors. They became additional subjects for our photowalkers. They had several displays and demonstrations set up along Shenandoah St. and were very obliging to our 30 cameras clicking away.

Civil War drummer boy

Civil War drummer boy

We had a steep hill to climb, next, but it provided everyone a great view of the historical town, the railroad bridges, and the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. I had high hopes that Mother Nature was going to put on a spectacular fall foliage show, but we were still a couple of weeks early for that.

On the hill climb, we came across two churches, one in ruins. St. Peters was open for photographs, and many went inside for stained glass photos. The ruins of St. Johns pulled in nearly every one of our walkers, trying to capture something special. I spent most of my effort on the steeple of St. Peters.

St. Peters Steeple

St. Peters Steeple

While we were heading up the hill, we stopped by Jefferson Rock. It is supposed to be the very rock where Thomas Jefferson stood in October 1783 and wrote that “this scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.” I'm not sure how they know this is the exact rock, but the view is awesome.

After a trip through the old cemetery, we headed down the main drag of Washington St. to our walk endpoint, the Potomac Grill. The folks there treated us right and served up some great food. We sat around, chimping each others' photos, eating, and chatting for another hour or so. I'm pretty sure everyone had a good time.

Harpers Ferry street

Harpers Ferry street

I've set up a Flickr group for the walk, and several photographers have started to populate the gallery. If you're interested, click here.

I ran through the walk to, hopefully, entice you to join one when you get the opportunity or set one up yourself. They are fun events and opportunities to try new things with your photography. They happen all year long and most are free. You need to get out and use your camera.

Our thanks to all who came out.

Our group for the 2014 Worldwide Photowalk

Our group for the 2014 Worldwide Photowalk

Quick Notes for This Week

By Roger (6 October 2014)

My apologies for being so absent on the blog, lately. I've been involved in an important family event; it was more important than the blog. I'm back home, and, after this week, things should get back to normal. Tonight's blog is short. Thanks for bearing with me.

Last year's Photowalk

Last year's Photowalk

I want to remind everyone that this weekend is the Worldwide Photowalk. You can find all the links to sign up at the bottom of the blog. This is a great opportunity to practice your photography in a new location and meet some new photography folks. We always have a fun time. In addition, Scott Kelby is trying to support the Springs of Hope Orphanage, in Kenya. You can find that link on his blog (here). We always encourage charitable giving to the many good causes out there.

When you get ready for the Photowalk, consider challenging yourself with something you wouldn't do. Pick a theme: only people; just architectural details; a specific color; or a shape. Maybe, just limit yourself to one camera and one lens (bonus points if that lens is not a zoom). Pick whatever you desire, but if you go with a specific goal or constraint, you'll challenge your creativity. That isn't a requirement on our walk, just a suggestion.

Nothing but smiling faces on our photowalks

Nothing but smiling faces on our photowalks

If you're looking for some interesting night photography, there will be a blood moon over North America, late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, 7/8 October. Our local photography club (link) has monthly themes, and this may work well for this month's theme of Harvest Nights. I may have to try to stay up late, on a school night, to make an attempt on this thing. If you're interested in more information on the event, here is a link to the Wikipedia article.

Finally, if you are an Adobe Creative Cloud member, there are new upgrades coming out as I type. Make sure you check for upgrades the next time you log in. There are some big changes to the mobile programs that look interesting. I'm sure one of us will be writing about them in the near future.


Don't forget to sign up for the 11 October Worldwide Photowalk. You can join Mark and I, in Harpers Ferry, WV, at 0930, beginning at the Amtrak station. You can sign up for our walk here. We hope to see you there. If you can't come to Harpers Ferry, you join one of the other photowalks, in a location near you. Look on the official Worldwide Photowalk page here.